Cambridge iGCSE

Field-course options for Cambridge iGCSE in Geography:

Section

Topic

Fieldwork

Population and settlement

Settlement
RURAL STUDY -We work in a variety of villages in the local area – the specific village(s) used depends on the focus of the investigation. Themes covered include, suburbanised village, commuter village, village services – relating to level of rurality/ population size, and declining villages.
TOWN STUDY -Students investigate past and potential future changes to the CBD in Abergavenny, or another local town, including the impact of an out of town supermarket on the town centre and future plans to develop the cattle market site. Alternatively students may investigate whether or not Abergavenny can be considered a ‘clone town’.

The natural environment

Landforms and landscape processes
RIVER STUDY -An investigation into downstream changes in river channel processes and characteristics on an upland river in the Brecon Beacons. This study also investigates the landforms and the processes affecting them at different points along the course.
COASTAL PROCESSES & MANAGEMENT -An investigation into the processes and resulting landforms on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. This is a coastline which is affected by both cliff retreat and localised flooding/storm damage. Students are also introduced to the current defences at the site and encouraged to evaluate their suitability in the short and long-term.
Weather, climate and natural vegetation
MOUNTAIN MICROCLIMATES – Investigating the relationship between temperature, altitude and other influential factors related to landscape. Using the peaks of the Brecon Beacons National Park, we are able to exemplify the effect of mountain environments on local weather conditions and providing an opportunities to develop geographical skills. Alternatively an urban or forest microclimate study may be suitable.

Economic development and the use of resources

Agricultural systems
FARM VISIT -This short visit may be incorporated into the rural study or chosen as a separate half-day activity. We visit a hill farmer in the National Park who talks through the farming system and issues such as diversification, use of technology in farming, the role of the national park, the role of government/ EU funding and countryside stewardship. (N.B. the farm we normally use for this fieldwork charges a small fee per group).
Industrial systems
INDUSTRIAL CHANGE -By working in the old industrial region of the South Wales valleys we are able to cover themes of industrial location, impact of industrial decline, impact on a population of changing industry, the role of TNC’s, and redevelopment and the use of brownfield sites.
Leisure activities and tourism
This study may include;
–  an investigation of footpath erosion and trampling on Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales, and how the site has been managed to minimise the impacts.
– A visit to the Mountain Centre (one of the National Park visitor centres), including a talk from a warden.
– A visit to Llangors Lake (and village), which is a ‘honey-pot’ in the Brecon Beacons National Park, as well as a SSSI. Here we look at the conflict between visitors and conservation and the sustainable management of this issue.
– Heritage tourism in the Blaenafon landscape (a World Heritage Site)
– Coastal Tourism in South Wales
Environmental risks and benefits:  resource Conservation and  management
QUARRY DEVELOPMENT -Students investigate the economic, social and environmental consequences of a quarry development. They are also asked to consider the long-term implications, including the possible end-use of the site. There is also an opencast coal mine nearby that offers educational visits, and the tourism study is also of relevance.